Deer Stalking and the Environment
Deer can cause considerable damage to farm and timber crops, especially if their numbers exceed the available
food supply in their woodland or hill habitat.To reduce such damage and to ensure that the population remains balanced and
healthy, deer stalkers use rifles to cull individual animals. Those likely to be removed are the old and weak deer as well
as some younger females to reduce the number of offspring produced that year.
Young males sometimes cause damage to forestry by fraying trees to mark their territories and their numbers may need to be
reduced. A stalker must know his ground and the habits of the deer intimately. A prime consideration is to ensure that there
is nothing that will deflect a bullet between him and his target and that there is a safe backstop to any shot he takes. Deer
shot for 'trophies' - the antlers kept as a souvenir - are carefully selected in accordance with a herd management plan. They
represent a very small percentage of the animals culled each year but provide valuable revenue for the estate and for the
benefit of maintaining the herd as a whole.
To read the British Association for Shooting and Conservation's Deer Stalking Code of Practice, click here.
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